At least two dozen state Democratic parties have renamed 'Jefferson-Jackson' events

Once a staple of Democratic Party politics, the annual “Jefferson-Jackson” dinners put on by state party organizations are being renamed across the country.

Of the states that have ever held these events — typically marquee fundraisers that can be critical in primary election campaigns — at least 24 have changed their names since the 1980’s, citing concerns including the two American presidents’ ownership of slaves.

This year, the home states of both presidents the dinners are named for have joined this number.

On March 3, the Democratic Party of Virginia, birthplace of President Thomas Jefferson, announced that it would rename its event as the Blue Commonwealth Gala. Meanwhile in Tennessee, home state of President Andrew Jackson, Democratic party officials said they will change the name of their dinner from the Three Star Jackson Day Dinner to the Three Star Dinner.

State parties have increasingly moved to distance themselves from the legacies of Jefferson and Jackson, both of whom were slaveholders. Jackson also pushed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 through Congress, paving the way for the forced relocation of southeastern Indian tribes known as the “Trail of Tears.” Those efforts gained momentum following the Charleston Church shooting in 2015, in which nine black worshippers at Emanuel AME church were killed by an admitted white supremacist.

In a statement to NBC, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party Mary Mancini said the new name reflected the party’s “shared belief that every Tennessean, no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you live, should have the opportunity for a better life for themselves and their families.”

Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said in a press release that the future of the state would be painted in “broad, blue strokes” and that the renamed event would celebrate “our party’s dedication to expanding opportunity for all Virginians.”

Here’s the full list of states where the Democratic Party has changed the name of an annual dinner once called a “Jefferson-Jackson” event, listed by the year the change was made.

  • 2018 – Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia
  • 2017— Colorado, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia
  • 2016 – Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire
  • 2015 – Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, Texas
  • 2014 – Florida
  • 2012 – Wyoming
  • 2002 – South Dakota
  • 1990’s- Idaho
  • 1980’s - Arizona
  • Unknown – Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin

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Bipartisan Senate panel sends urgent warning to elections officials

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee made an urgent, bipartisan call for state and federal officials to address vulnerabilities in elections systems that were exposed during the 2016 presidential contest, warning that Russia has not given up in its goal of sowing doubt among voters about the integrity of the ballot box. 

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Related: Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, top U.S. official says

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Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, said this of Nixon in an interview with the New York Post: “Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City. Now she wants to be an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York. You have to be qualified and have experience. She isn’t qualified to be the governor.”

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Nixon responded that “her being a lesbian and my being a lesbian” is not the issue, according to the Post.

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*** UPDATE: Quinn has apologized for the remarks on Twitter, saying "I would never, EVER, criticize someone because of their identity." She reiterated that she was making a comparison between her own experience and qualification and Nixon's. 


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Hyde-Smith would be the first female senator in Mississippi history. If she decides to seek the seat permanently in November, she'd likely face a challenge from the right from conservative Chris McDaniel, who has said he will seek the seat as well. 

Here's more from the Courier-Journal's report: 

Some state GOP sources are questioning whether Hyde-Smith, who in served in the state Senate for years as a Democrat, would be vulnerable to a far-right challenge from McDaniel. Others say that as a Democrat she had a conservative record and she has been a leader in the state and national GOP as agriculture commissioner. She has a strong base among rural conservatives.

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He represents an already-swing district in the Philadelphia suburbs that’s becoming distinctly more Democratic under the new map. He’s facing a top challenger in veteran Chrissy Houlahan.

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"I love New York. I’ve never lived anywhere else. But something has to change.," she says in her announcement video. "We want our government to work again, on healthcare, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us."

A Siena College poll out Monday showed Nixon as a heavy underdog in the primary matchup, with Cuomo getting 66 percent support among registered Democrats, compared to just 19 percent for Nixon. 

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How a key group — white women with a college degree — view Trump, the GOP and the midterms

The most recent NBC News/Wall Street poll shows that a key group of voters may be poised to play a big role in the upcoming election: White women with a college degree.

And they’re angry. 

White women with a college degree did support Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 election, but only by a six-point margin. According to exit polls, just over half supported Clinton — 51 percent — while 45 percent backed Trump and the remainder chose third party candidates.

But that narrow advantage for the Democratic candidate has grown into a gaping divide heading into the 2018 midterms, according to the latest NBC/WSJ poll.

President Trump’s positive favorability rating among college-educated white women, which stood just 32 percent when he was inaugurated, is now down even further to an even more dismal 27 percent, with 53 percent giving him a ‘very negative’ score. The Republican Party gets a similarly poor ranking, with just 23 percent within this group of women giving the GOP high marks. (They give Democrats a net positive score, on the other hand — 45 percent positive to 31 percent negative.)

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Among white women with a college degree, Democrats have a 27 point advantage over Republicans on the question of which party they would rather win control of Congress in November.

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And there’s this: Among all high-interest voters, 56 percent prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 40 percent who want a GOP-controlled Congress — a 16-point advantage for Democrats.

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